Commissioner Clyburn named Acting FCC Chair

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Mignon ClyburnFCC Chairman Julius Genechowski is expected to be out of the building by the middle of the month, and it will take far longer than that for Chairman nominee Tom Wheeler to make it though the Senate. In the interim, the FCC gavel will be wielded by Mignon Clyburn. She will be the first woman to hold the job.


Currently the third longest serving commissioner, Clyburn will vault to the top of the heap when both Genachowski and Robert McDowell turn in their office keys in the very near future.

Here is Clyburn’s full statement:
I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to lead the Federal Communications Commission as interim chairwoman during this transition period, and I thank President Obama for this incredible and historic honor.

Modern communications platforms are transforming every aspect of our lives, bringing about new opportunities and challenges.  I am committed to continuing the FCC’s strong record of promoting competition, investment, and advancing the public interest.  I am a firm believer that our government can be an effective problem-solver with an important role to play in opening doors of opportunity for all Americans.

This agency, and the outstanding people who comprise it, are to be commended for their service to this nation, and I intend to work hand in hand with every Bureau and Office to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.  I also look forward to collaborating with members of both houses of Congress to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission.

I want to again express my gratitude to the President, my family, friends, and staff, as well all those who have offered their support and guidance prior to and during my service at the Commission.  I will continue to work hard in confronting the crucial issues that come before the FCC, and will do so with the interests of the American consumer in front of mind.

I join a host of others in congratulating Tom Wheeler on his nomination, and wish him well as the Senate considers his candidacy.

Chairing this great agency brings with it the need to make myriad complex decisions each and every day.  Tom’s depth of experience makes him well-suited to the job, and I have no doubt that his leadership will allow the FCC to smartly navigate the ever-changing communications landscape.

I want to again thank Chairman Genachowski for his leadership and friendship over the past four years.  I look forward to working with Tom and his team, and offer my hopes for a swift and successful confirmation.

A few others also weighed in on Clyburn’s nomination:

* Outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski: It has been a great honor and pleasure to serve with Commissioner Clyburn for the past four years.  Mignon is a strong, experienced, and thoughtful leader.  She has distinguished herself through her work to modernize universal service and promote competition, and as a champion for closing America’s digital divide. With this appointment, Mignon will also distinguish herself as the first woman to lead the FCC. I congratulate my friend and colleague on this honor. With this nomination and appointment, when I depart in mid-May, I’ll be leaving a revitalized FCC in great hands.

* NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith: NAB salutes President Obama’s historic selection of Mignon Clyburn as acting chair of the FCC. Commissioner Clyburn is a trailblazer and role model for millions of women, and her commitment to serving the public interest is unquestioned.”

* Outgoing FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell: “I congratulate my distinguished colleague, Mignon Clyburn, on being designated Acting Chair of the FCC by President Obama.  As her friend, I am delighted that Mignon has written a page in American history as the first woman to serve at the helm of the Commission.  While we do not always agree on policy, I have consistently found Mignon to be thoughtful, highly perceptive, energetic and respectful of opposing viewpoints.  I have been honored to work with her over our nearly four years of service together.  She is a consummate public servant who strives to make the American communications marketplace better for consumers.  I wish her every success in her new role.”

* Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Member, House Energy & Commerce Committee: I also congratulate Commissioner Clyburn on being named Acting Chair of the FCC. She has been a dedicated advocate for consumers and competition during her tenure as FCC Commissioner and the agency will be in good hands with her at the helm.